Talk:Stephen Hawking/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Things to be fixed

There are many different vandalizations to the original article. When I went to access it the first time, it said "steven hawking is a **** (sorry about the language, just quoting it.)

Add that his book was used in the film, Donnie Darko.

That should be added to the popular culture section. His book was mentioned in the scene where Donnie and Professor Monnitoff were discussing time travel and worm holes. [MadGirl]

This article is in a bad state. Some particular examples:

  • "there is every chance that he would never have made the discoveries he has were it not for the support of his family". Is there? Says who? Clear POV.
  • "Hawking proposed that although the universe has no boundary, it is finite in space-time, and in 1983 he proved this mathematically." This should be justified further. He may have proved it based on certain assumptions, but the nature of science is that you cannot prove anything for certain. To a reader from a non-scientific background, this might sound like the last word on the subject.
  • "no previous knowledge in this field is required to enjoy these books." POV.
  • "an encyclopædia from which information is easily retrieved." Embarrassing.

These are mistakes that require a bit of thought to fix, and there are other basic errors. Please could someone help me bring this article up to scratch? Agentsoo 01:35, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

I'll give you a hand doing this Agentsoo. That article is really all fluff, and it needs to be expanded to show what he has discovered.(Unless this is detailed somewhere else). Hawking is one of the giants on science, and the article needs to show why. User:Scope_Creep 18:39, 31 July 2005 (GMT)

Well said. Let's get stuck in! Agentsoo 20:44, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

This article indicates that Stephen Hawking "eats babies." This is evidently a typographical error. Perhaps it was supposed to read, "eats babies' food."

No i think it was vandalism. Jacknife737 23:42, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

although it would be cool if he did eat babies.Lalbe4 02:07, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

"Though Hawking's parents were both male and had their home in North London, they relocated to Oxford while Isobel was pregnant with Stephen..." -- this sentence makes no sense. how are his parents both men, yet one of them is pregnant? Steph 19 February 2007

Stuff that needs to be added, in no particular order

  • Working with Roger Penrose in 1965 to 1970 (Proving that a singularity existed at the start of big bang, if the General Theory Of Relativity.
  • Perhaps add detail regarding difference between mathematical time and real time and an entry added to the Time article mentioning Imaginary time, which has been sucessfully used to build some of the thoeries he has formulated.
  • Use of Global Methods to prove/create certain theories. No entry in the Wiki about this.
Wolfram Research details these as being methods invented out of the toplogical methods used by Penrose to prove the singularity theorem. What they are though User:Scope_Creep

  • The fact that he went to a girls school, St Albams, at the time.
  • No mention that some of the computers he used for voice synthesis were custom built by intel and donated to him.
  • His work with Jim Hartle regarding the No boundary proposal. I can't find Jim Hartle in the Wiki. Found him as James Hartle.
  • His 12 honourary degrees. University of Waterloo is one. Hartle, Hawking and Penrose all received one here in 2004.
  • Writing The Large Scale Structure of Spacetime, with GFT Ellis, published in 1973. No mention of Ellis in Wiki.
  • The Wolf prize he shared with R. Penrose in 1988 and what for exactly ?
I've attempted to find this out. I found this: "In 1988, [Penrose] received the internationally prestigious Wolf Prize for physics, shared with Stephen Hawking, for their joint contribution to our understanding of the universe." Most other sources say something similarly vague. Really I'd like Wikipedia to have or at least link to something more specific. Anyone know? Agentsoo 02:01, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
Agentsoo the Wolf foundation is located in Isreal. Its a prestigious organisation which offers prizes in 6 branches of science, specifically, Agriculture, Chemistry, Maths, Physics and the Arts. I have an URl here to the page, which details his work. User:Scope_Creep
  • Being awarded the Eddington medal in 1975 and what for exactly ?
Well it's the Royal Astronomical Society which awards this medal. But their site does not detail exactly why it was awarded. User:Scope_Creep
  • Member of the US National Academny of Science.
  • Link to the Hartle-Hawking wave function.
  • No mention of his parents wanting him to study medicine, his father being a noted research biologist in tropical diseases.
  • His chair/communication system recently received an upgrade to Windows XP.
  • He is finding it increasingly difficult to operate a hand switch, and now controls his communication system mostly with a 'blink switch'.
  • He uses a ventilator during the night.
  • He has 2 sons and a daughter

"Relationships drive him, not physics."

This seems an odd, noninformational statement. Can anyone cite or reference this? 20:43, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

How come the vast Simpsons Wikipedia Empire has not gathered in Hawking? He was mentioned as "the wheelchair guy" in the episode in which Homer travelled to the fourth dimension. Seriously, this shows the impact that Hawking has had on the popular imagination. The Hawking article doesn't mention his best-seller status either. Neither Simpsons nor physics is my field, but I do like to ask. Ortolan88 06:59 Jul 25, 2002 (PDT)

I added a paragraph about his best-selling status. --User:Hbw

more than that, he guest-stars in an episode (when Lisa & co run the town). And in Star Trek. -- Tarquin 08:39 May 12, 2003 (UTC)
That episode was "They saved Lisa's Brain" (Episode: AABF18 - 1999-05-09), one of the more memorable quotes from Hawking was: "Your idea of a donut-shaped universe intrigues me Homer; I may have to steal it"

I thought it was hilarious when Homer Simpson mistook Stephen Hawking for Larry flynt. I seems like an honest mistake to me. 00:14, 10 October 2005 (UTC)mightyafrowhitey

And I'm adding a comment about how pathetic the state of this article is.-&#35918&#30505sv
Hi Stevertigo, the problem with that is that, to people who don't know anything about SH (e.g. me) it looks OK! :) Could you please specify what its problem is? (Or even fix it!) Thanks, Nevilley 09:36 Mar 9, 2003 (UTC)

He is just known as "Stephen Hawking" - no need for the middle initial. --mav

No need but shouldn't we name an article for a person properly if we can? -- Taku 06:06 May 12, 2003 (UTC)
How is calling the article "Stephen W. Hawking" naming the article properly? You should have the middle name in full, or not at all. (And I vote for "not at all", because nobody ever uses his middle name or initial.) -- Paul A 06:27 May 12, 2003 (UTC)
So you can tell him apart from, you know, all those other Stephen Hawkings out there, like, umm... yeah, all those others. Pardon me now while I rush off to disambiguate George Washington and Albert Einstein.... -- John Owens 06:34 May 12, 2003 (UTC)
President Washington, sadly, had no middle name. john 06:41 May 12, 2003 (UTC)

Probably I was mistaken but okay so how do you put his name in biblograhy? Just Stephen Hawking. I mean I thought it might be offensive if we omitted a middle-name since it is part of the name. -- Taku 13:35 May 12, 2003 (UTC)

I'm going to remove the following - "He has been compared to Isaac Newton by some observers." - for two reasons: Firstly who has compared him to Isaac Newton? Without qualification this sentence is meaningless. Secondly I think that if anyone has compared him to Isaac Newton then they are grossly misinformed. I believe I can say the following without doing the man a disservice: Although a well-known scientist who has contributed a great deal to his field, he is generally regarded as not in the same league as Einstein or Newton. His notoriety largely extends from his disability, and if he didn't suffer from Motor Neurone Disease he would be as anonymous to the general public as the many other scientists in his field. Mintguy 13:12, 20 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I find it strange that you say that his notoriety largely extends from his disability. He has done quite a lot to popularize science. Carl Sagan didn't have a disability and I'm guessing you know who he is.

Have you seen this? Probably not suitable, but pretty funny! [1] - Mark Richards 00:41, 21 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Has anyone checked that you have permission from star trek for the picture? If not I have pictures you could use with permission (Stephen has agreed to a number in support of the charity I run which he supports). BozMo

I've seen the episode and that of course is a shot from the episode descent. However, we are trying to tell people about things they do not yet know, and that picture looks like just another picture of him. A shot with Hawking and Data in the same frame would be great --Mike

Black hole information paradox

According to New Scientist, Hawking plans to reveal his solution to this paradox on July 21, 2004. Maybe this interesting bit can make its way into the article somehow. A-giau 23:00, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Information paradox

I've added a note to this article and the Hawking Radiation article explaining that the vaporization of particles at the event horizon has been called incorrect by Hawking. I've also noted that he will present new findings at the 17th International Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation in Dublin, Ireland in July 2004.

I'll try to update the article once Hawking has presented his findings.

I added a little note about the new theory, hope there is no problem until the theory is explained. --KeyStorm 09:48, 19 Jul 2004 (UTC)
this particular area of the article "The Euclidean path integral over all topologically trivial metrics can be done by time slicing and so is unitary when analytically continued to the Lorentzian. On the other hand, the path integral over all topologically non-trivial metrics is asymptotically independent of the initial state. Thus the total path integral is unitary and information is not lost in the formation and evaporation of black holes. The way the information gets out seems to be that a true event horizon never forms, just an apparent horizon" In my eyes is unnecessary. It adds nothing to the article and is trying to just show how complex all of this is, so people will say," oooh that hawking is clever", leave the link in for people who know what it means but it doesn't contribute anything to the article

The Onion

The article mentions that Hawking responded to the Onion article with a letter cursing them for exposing his plans for world domination. Can someone back this up with a reference?

it comes from, but I'm no good with citing. Would someone mind formatting it for me?

Jellocube27 07:12, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

That's just a mirror of this article. (See how at the bottom it says "This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia"?) On this page, Tim Harrod (senior writer for The Onion) says Hawking "learned of the parody and sent an amiable email message to The Onion" but doesn't say what the contents of the message were, and that's the only reference I could find before getting bored. Junkyardprince 18:03, 16 July 2006 (UTC)


It doesn't look like he's doing anything to trigger TTS. If anyone knows how this man is able to speak, could you please put it in the article? Thanks. -- 06:06, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Twitching a cheek, apparently. — ceejayoz 01:11, 30 September 2005 (UTC)


The header photo on this article is truly horrid. It has got to be the single worst picture of Dr. Hawking I've ever seen. Drool is dripping off his chin!!! As long as we're using copyrighted images here we can do much MUCH better than this. --Deglr6328 03:50, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

SHHHHH!! don't tell anyone no one must know his horrible secret or else everyone would think of him as some kind of nerd yall kfc rocks hey mum im on the internet woot —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Polarbear69 (talkcontribs) 09:57, 14 March 2006 (UTC).

I thought the same thing, when I looked over the article before. The new picture is much more dignified. -- Mike; yeah, yeah I'll make a username sooner or later.
Much better.--Deglr6328 05:24, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Please let us find a better more becoming photo of Stephen. Maybe in this case a simple passport like photo with just the face is good enough.Kendirangu 11:13, 16 December 2006 (UTC)


In reading "A Brief History of Time", I've found that Hawking says he suffered from pneumonia, and not bronchitis. This can be found in the last paragraph of the second page in the acknowledgements. I am therefore changing this in the article.

I addded this little quote from this current week (14 Oct 05) which exemplifies his use of pithy homor to make his points and the fact that his popular influence is just as relevant as his academic achievements, though one rests of the other of course. I also wonder if it's helpful or not to mention the case against his wife and widespread suspicion that in spite of his unqualfied support for her she treats him in a dominating and less then kind way. (MK)

His IQ

Does anyone know what His IQ is? (Sorry, guys, I'm a Hungarian and I don't really know wether Your IQ is big or high or whatever.)

According to The Simpsons, 280 ;-) - Fredrik | talk 09:21, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

After falling down a flight of stairs in his youth, Dr. Hawking feared he had brain damage, so he took an intelligence test. He received a score of 161, the ceiling of the test. It is uncertain whether he just has at least a ratio IQ of 161, or that this a deviation IQ, which implies a ratio IQ of around 180. - 20:43, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

According to Stephen Hawking himself, "I have no idea. People who boast about their I.Q. are losers."
Great quote. Shawnc 06:52, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

[2] reference link invalid No longer works. Laundrypowder 18:35, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

why did someone criticize him in the opening paragraph. take that out that's filth.


Does anyone have any information about the allegations that his wife has been abusing him for years, leaving him outside in the sun for hours without water, beating, etc.? I can't remember where I read the article, but I remember reading about it and hearing that he didn't want charges pressed

.--TheGrza 21:41, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

Doubt it.-- 04:41, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that was an episode of Law and Order, of course those are "ripped from the headlines" so who knows-- 23:25, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
I seem to remember this being in The Daily Mirror a few years ago. It was pure tabloid journalism: a journalist heard that a 52-year-old man in Cambridge was in hospital, and his wife was susupected of beating him. The journalist knew that Stephen Hawking was a 52-year-old man who lives in Cambridge and has a wife, so figured it must have been him. Hawking was apparently very surprised when he read in the papers that he had been abused. --Adam (Talk) 19:19, 8 October 2006 (UTC)


The current article seems to imply that he's still married to his first wife, when in fact he divorced her in 1990 and in 1995 married his nurse. Cmdrjameson 23:06, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

He filed for divorce from his second wife last year as well. I am surprised that no mention of his marriages/divorces is in the article. Roy 09:46, 24 April 2007 (UTC)


Can anybody add anything on Hawking's views on religion/spirituality? - 23 November 2005

Dr. Hawking's religious views are somewhat difficult to pin down. He tends towards atheism, but I believe he has denied that he is an atheist. His books and general philosophical bent favor postivism/materialism, and a great deal of his work has (indirectly) been an attempt to show that God is superfluous and unnecessary for the creation of the universe. His popular books have several lines that hint at his disbelief in God (such as in his discussion of the no-boundary proposal, he says "what role, then, is there for a creator?"), and he later said that he wanted to omit the famous line at the end of A Brief History of Time<i\> (that we would know the mind of God). In any case, the only reason why I would be wary of simply calling him an atheist (which is the view that I think most resembles his) is that he said that he had never called himself an atheist. 12-15-05

where are you reading that he wanted to omit the line? do you have a quote? do you think that its correct to assume that a "great deal of his work" has been an attempt to show that God is superfluous? would that indirectness make this assertion moot? - mbk 4-25-07 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:49, April 25, 2007

He sounds like an Agnostic. Given that he's a genius, it would make sense that he makes no claim to know whether or not God exists.--Lithfo 01:10, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
Of course, because no genius makes any claim to believe in something as outlandish as God. 22:15, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
He's problably an agnostic strong atheist ie. he believes that gods doesnt exist, but does not claim to know.

sci wager

Anybody have a picture of the science wager he had with Kip Thorne?

(NEW PERSON - the other guy forgot to sign) I don't think we'd have to - besides how is his wager about a star/black hole symbiosis relevant at all to this page? Wikisquared 22:18, 3 February 2007 (UTC)


Who edited the picture? --

The Current edit

I removed much of the information in the biography because much of it was repeated elsewhere in the article. What wasn't repeated in other sections didn't belong under biography, so I moved them to their appropriate sections. I don't like to be so brutal with my edits, but unfortunately, the text that was added, besides being redundant and making unverifiable claims, was so florid it was unencyclopedic. If what I did seems like a chop job, I apologize for that, though I felt it was necessary given the reasons above.

And on a more lighthearted note, to whomever wrote that UCSB (go gauchos!) isn't big in cosmology or theoretical Physics, I should point out that Walter Kohn, Alan Heeger, Herbert Kroemer, and David Gross are all professors there. And Stephen Hawking visits our Institute of Theoretical Physics every once and awhile! Gershwinrb 00:54, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. I quite agree. The article was entertaining and, for the most part, well written but not quite what one would expect from WP. I think there are a still a few things in there that are a bit trivial but I like to chop even less than you. Maybe later. --JGGardiner 06:46, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

The bet

I subtly changed the chapter describing the wager (Losing an old bet) since there are two wagers that were confused as being the same. It could still use some polishing as I just made it clear they are two and not the same. More information in Scientific_wager.--nunocordeiro 23:27, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Einstein on Gunsmoke << Einstein died before Gunsmoke ever aired. This should be removed.

I don't know if it should be deleted, how about a note stating that clarifying that Einstein never appeared on Gunsmoke. The quote is real, it's reference isn't.--RLent 18:46, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Complex time

In A Brief History of Time, Hawking considers the possibility that time has an imaginary component, and that the further you went back in time, the larger the imaginary component would become, this the universe would have no point of creation. I'm unable to grasp this idea, can anyone point me to any sites that could explain it further?--RLent 18:46, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

That's... crazy. Imaginary time? The mind boggles. Well, I guess it's not crazy, really. But it sounds crazy. Deskana (talk) 18:54, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
Imaginary time? Markyour words 23:28, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Hawking's "imaginary time" is no more imaginary than "imaginary numbers." Imaginary numbers are just a special kind of mathematical number. Hawking looks at time as just another spatial dimension. This is not new. It is part of Einstein's theory of relativity. Einstein made the observation that time can be considered a fourth geometric coordinate if we add "i" to it. i = the square root of minus one.

Here is one way to imagine a universe with no beginning. Imagine every black hole including the big crunch as drains that merge together and lead back to the quantum singularity from which our universe sprang. Such a universe would have no begining and no end. It would resemble two horns of bulls connected wide-end to wide-end, narrow-end to narrow-end. The sides of the horn represent space-time. As the cross-section of the horns get larger, space increases and the contents of the horn get further from the narrowest section. As the cross-section of the horns diminish space gets smaller and the contents of the horn get closer to the narrowest section.

Hawking's universe would have a near infinite number of such universes with all the narrow-ends at the S. Pole and all the wide-ends at the N. Pole. If you make a complete circle in any universe starting at the S. Pole, you will finish your journey at the S. Pole. Your trip back to the S. Pole (big bang) will not take you over the same land that you traveled when you travelled from the S. Pole to the N. Pole.

His disease

This is confusing because in the US the term ALS is used to cover all forms of MND. But Hawking's form of MND is almost certainly not ALS, please stop re-adding it. See [2] Jooler 23:20, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Hawking refers to the disease as ALS on his own Web site. -- Freshyill 03:04, 25 February 2006 (UTC)
Hawking refers to the disease as ALS on his own website as does almost everyone when his name is mentioned in connection with the disease in the USA. The majority of cases of MND are ALS and consequently in the USA ALS is used as a synonym of MND. However, if Hawking had ALS he would almost certainly be dead now and most neuoroligists believe that he probably has another form of MND. Jooler 10:51, 25 February 2006 (UTC)


Why do we have a list of students for most of whom no article exists? Either they are n otable (in which case they should have articles) or they are not, in which case they should not be listed. This is pretty much common practice. Just zis Guy you know? 22:26, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

If they are not notable, they should be removed from the list. --Siva1979Talk to me 18:21, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Steven hawking is my dad =]innit chava


I think we owe Steven Hawking's page and future memory a better picture than that currently displayed. any offers?--Light current 22:40, 29 May 2006 (UTC)


None of the quotes have quotation marks around them. Is that wikipedia styling? because personally, I think it just looks sloppy. Does anyone know? Verloren Hoop 18:11, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

I agree and I'd like to see some sources. I can't believe it's hard to source the quotations. --Popeyedoyle 23:03, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Enquiring minds want to know.

I know there is a big secret surrounding Hawking's divorce and his new wife. I thought I would find this in the article.

I was told Hawking has been abused by Elaine and they divorced. -- Toytoy 16:28, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

minor edit, 2006 June 13, 3:45P.M. PST

I've made a minor edit that may or may not be complained of; where in the "Distinction" section of the article the second sentence claimed that "His first book, A Brief History of Time, was published on April 1, 1988," A Brief History of Time is not his first book, as may be seen by investigating the list of his publications at the end of this article (The Large Scale Structure of Time, published in 1973, preceded it). Hence this first sentence has been revised to say "The first of these," with reference to the "popular science books."

--GrammarGeek 01:39, 14 June 2006 (UTC)


Is any of Hawking's work eligible for a Nobel Prize? And if so, is it peculiar that the most famous scientist on Earth hasn't got one? Any thoughts anyone?


Nobel prizes are for those who achieve something with a nice practical usage, like dynamite, or a fusion reactor.

The inventor of dynamite did not win a nobel prize. There is nothing peculiar about the most famous scientist not winning a nobel, because nobel prizes are not awarded on the basis of popularity polls.-- 21:17, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

Then again, the inventor of dynamite was Alfred Nobel, so it was kind of hard for him to actually win the Nobel prize...-- 23:05, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Only person to play himself on TNG?

According to The Outrageous Okona Joe Piscapo also cameod as himself So im afraid mr Hawking will have problems taking that honor --[GhOstFaCE] 16:48, 15 June 2006 (CET)

Joe Piscopo did not play himself in that episode ... see where he is listed as playing "The Comic". --Dennette 21:39, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
And what about that "cool" Woodstock guy in that Voyager episode with Q and Quinn? As far as I know, he played himself — his character name and actor name were identical. Sorry, I don't even remember the episode's name. — N-true 18:37, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

Radiohead? I think not

I am a HUGE radiohead fan and in no way did Hawking work on OK computer for the voiceover in Fitter, Happier. Just because a voice is computerized, it doesn't mean it was Hawking!!! Sublimebrc 19:47, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

You are correct. The voice in Fitter Happier is none other than Fred, one of the voices that has come with the Mac OS since the early 90's. I'm removing the reference from the article.

--amRadioHed 05:03, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Ph.D. advisor

I find it annoying that his Ph.D. advisor Dennis William Sciama is never mentioned in the article. Someone with more than a passing knowledge please include htis link! Mhym 22:59, 20 June 2006 (UTC)


Are there any pictures of Hawking as a young man before visible symptoms of ALS existed? JDG 06:26, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

  • yes, I've seen entire documentaries of him before the ALS, if someone can track one of them down a screencap should be covered under fairuse-- 17:59, 27 June 2006 (UTC)


So where is the critique in this article? This is a fan-article. -- 16:38, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

I'd go further; the article barely seems to discuss his work, being dominated by his illness, his bet with Kip Thorne and 'Popular culture'. He is, first and foremost, a theoretical physicist. Yet you'd think he was some kind of Marilyn Monroe-esqu icon by reading this piece. Personally, I'm shocked this one has been deemed a Good Article. It bares scant resemblance to an entry in a proper encyclopedia. Compare Albert Einstein, for instance. --Popeyedoyle 23:01, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Assessment comment

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Stephen Hawking/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Article contains too many lists for more than B-class; they should be embedded. It could furthermore use some more pictures; perhaps an artist's impression of Hawking radiation may be available somewhere? Errabee 11:23, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 11:23, 27 April 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 22:07, 3 May 2016 (UTC)